Faculty Present Listening to Parks, an NEA Imagine Your Parks Project

Photo taken at Isle Royal, by Christopher Plummer
Photo taken as part of the recording project on Isle Royale, by Christopher Plummer

What do you hear when you walk in the woods? What are the natural sounds and rythms of the forest? The lakes? The skies?

Christopher Plummer, Elizabeth Meyer, and Kent Cyr, faculty members in the Visual and Performing Arts Department of Michigan Tech, opened a multimedia and soundscape installation at the Duluth Children’s Museum this week, on Monday, September 25, 2017, in Duluth, MN, as a part of their “Listening to Parks” project, to explore those questions. The exhibit will be on display through October 15. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Park Service (NPS) announced $1,067,500 in support of 50 grants in 27 states, including an award of $20,000 to Michigan Technological University to support Listening to Parks, an Imagine Your Parks project. Visual and sound artists collaborated to create an immersive multimedia installation based on collected images, video, and audio recordings from the Keweenaw National Historic Park, Isle Royale National Park, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The installation will tour to sites in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan, and then will culminate in an exhibition in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space, at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in December. There will be an opening reception on Friday, December 2 from 5:00 -6:30 PM, which is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are M-F 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Fridays. The recorded sounds from this project will also be used for a composition for orchestra by Libby Meyer to be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra at the Rozsa Center on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu says “As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, this year we are celebrating the magnificence of America’s national cultural treasures through art, the Imagine Your Parks grant program unites our mission with the National Park Service by connecting art projects with the natural, historic and cultural settings of the National Park System and will inspire a new generation to discover these special places and experience our great heritage.”  “The ‘Imagine Your Parks’ grants are really helping us celebrate the NPS Centennial and the NEA’s 50th Anniversary with some incredibly diverse and interesting projects that continue to inspire more Americans of all backgrounds to connect with their national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The grants already awarded are already demonstrating the success of the program through a variety of inspiring projects. A new generation of artists is connecting to national parks through their work, and motivating others to do the same.”

According to Dr. Jared Anderson, Chair, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, “I am very proud to announce that Christopher Plummer, Elizabeth Meyer, and Kent Cyr, faculty members in the Visual and Performing Arts Department of Michigan Tech, received the first-ever award for Michigan Tech from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Parks Service as a part of the “Imagine your Parks” initiative.  This project will consist of gathering soundscape recordings from Isle Royale National Park and other National Parks in this region.  The recorded sounds will then be used for a composition for orchestra by Libby Meyer to be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.  The sounds will also be integrated into a traveling multi-media art installation that will be presented at various park visitors centers and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in 2017.”

Please visit the Listening to Parks website for more details.   Follow “Imagine Your Parks” on Twitter @NEAarts and @NatlParkService, #ImagineYourParks #NEASpring16.


Comments Closed